Where did ASL originates from?
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Sign Language FAQ
Where did American Sign Language Originates From?

ASL's creation, as with almost all modern languages, have no clear beginning as it develops over an initial period of infancy to the product we know today.

The resemblance between ASL and LSF (langue des signes franaise) and the introduction of the French teacher Laurent Clerc by Thomas Gallaudet leads people to believe ASL was developed mostly from LSF, but others believe ASL existed before Clerc and has a much earlier beginning with the indigenous peoples of America where they conversed with sign between the different Red Indian clans. Whatever the case maybe, we are much more, the richer by the contributions of both these streams of experience and knowledge.

Because of the construction of ASL grammar, Deaf people experienced ASL as a natural language to communicate in and this resembles more the indigenous way of signing and the compilation of the way Japanese put their sentences together.

The only real resemblance between ASL and BSL (British Sign Language) is to be found inherently in the vocabulary because of their common ground in the English spoken language, but still the construction of the gestures is somewhat different.

Naturally with Laurent Clerc and Thomas Gallaudet and their specialist field of working with the Deaf, together with the knowledge and experience in LSF, the greater contribution to ASL as we now experienced it has come directly from LSF, which over time has changed ASL to the natural vehicle, able to accommodate complex clusters of intricate ideas, and still leave opportunity to be elementary. To read more see History of Sign Language on this website.